Today BMW launched production of its new electric car, BMW i3. The model will be produced at the plant in Leipzig, where BMW created a total of 1,500 jobs to assemble all the models in the “i” range.
2013 BMW i3 electric model started production today at the plant in Leipzig, Germany. The first product with zero emissions required large efforts from the manufacturer, which was forced to adjust labor and assembly line.
One reason is that the new BMW i3 is the first model that uses carbon fiber (CFRP) into production. The entire body is made of this material to compensate the weight of the batteries used by its electric system.
In an official statement, BMW claims that it uses 50% less electricity and 70% less water to build an i3. Also, all the energy used in the assembly is guaranteed by the Bavarian windmills. Also, traditional dyeing process for steel and other parts of the body was removed by using carbon fiber.
BMW i3 Wallpaper [photo gallery]
Approximately 400 million euros were invested in upgrading the plant in Leipzig, where BMW created 800 more jobs. If, however, we refer to the entire assembly line built especially for BMW “i” we’ll end up with 600 million euros and 1,500 jobs.
BMW i3’s first copy off the assembly line will be used at the grand International Marathon opening in Berlin, where the driver will be a German long-distance runner, Jan FITSCHEN.
The first deliveries to European customers will begin in November 2013, while the markets in China and the U.S. will be able to have the new BMW i3 as early as next winter. Prices start at 34,950 euros on the German market.
The i electric car has a rear axle performance of 170 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque (184 lb/ft) and an autonomy between 130 and 160 kilometers (80 – 100 miles) in 100% electric mode. Optionally, customers can order a range extender mode, which dramatically increases the autonomy of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles). That module is a small two-cylinder 650 cc petrol engine from BMW Motorrad division that works as a generator and charges the battery without having a mechanical connection between the propeller and the drive train.
BMW i3 sprints from 0 to 60 km/h in 3.7 seconds (0-30 mph in 3.5 seconds) and from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds (0-60 mph in approximately 7.3 seconds). Its top speed is limited to 150 km/h (93 mph) for efficiency reasons.